Passage (was Re: Best of 2001)

Gross Family argross at bigpond.net.au
Thu Jan 24 06:35:40 EST 2002



> On Sun, 20 Jan 2002 01:14:11 +1100, Gross Family wrote:
>
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> >> >R
> >> >S
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> Melissa wrote:
>
> >> I think the ambiguity exists to allow different readers, with different
> >> belief systems, to interpret it any way they feel most comfortable.  I
> >> especially think Willis wasn't trying to say, definitively, "this is
what
> >> happens after you die."  It's open-ended for a reason.  I remember that
> >the
> >> first time I read it, I thought it was a sad ending; then I re-read the
> >> final section and realized it was a happy ending.  There are no solid
> >> answers.
>
> and Ros said:
>
> >I don't think Willis is being open-ended and ambiguous to allow for
> >different interpretations so much as she simply wants to say "No-one can
> >possibly know what happens after death; whatever it is, it's *not* what
we
> >think it is." I think I may be saying more or less what you're saying,
> >actually! :-)

Melissa wrote:

> Sounds like it!  The difference is that you think she's positively stating
> something, and I think she's refusing to make a statement one way or the
> other.  But it works out to the same position in the end--that the book
> doesn't end with an explanation of what comes after death.

Yes--no explanation, but I do think she certainly suggests that *something*
may well come...though that is also open to interpretation.

[snip]

> >The only other books of her I've read are _Bellwether_ and _To Say
Nothing
> >of the Dog_; I didn't notice any recycled phrases etc., but I certainly
did
> >notice the repetition of certain themes. That didn't worry me in itself.
> >Perhaps it's more _Doomsday Book_ and other heavier stuff that's similar?
>
> I've read all her books now, and a lot of her stories, and what I can
> remember (not that I have any specific examples) was coming across phrases
> or ideas or plot elements that I remembered from other books or stories.
> Not just repeated themes--which I would expect from an author with strong
> opinions on certain subjects--but repeated ways of developing those
themes.
> Like, "Oh, this was in _Bellwether_," and "she did that in _Doomsday
Book_"
> and so forth.  It effectively reminded me of ALL her other books at one
> point or another.  When I read it again maybe I'll take notes.

Hmm...interesting.

> I still haven't found any information on what her next book will be and
when
> it will be available, other than the reference in that interview to the
> Blitz.

Thanks for that URL for the interview, Melissa--I found it fascinating.
There are some other interviews of her around as well, though I can't for
the moment think where they can be found. But this seems to be the latest,
and I found her comments on her research for _Passage_ especially
fascinating.

Ros


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